By Jonathon Brodie/London Community News
Anyone can sit in front of easel and paint, but for adventure artist Cory Trépanier it isn’t enough.
Having a deep passion for the Great White North, Trépanier completed his second and third Arctic expeditions in 2008, capturing the whole experience on canvas and film.
“It gave me the opportunity to really challenge myself creatively with landscapes like I’ve never seen before,” Trépanier explained.
Into the Arctic II, Trépanier’s second film, documents the oil painter’s exploration of Baffin Island and the south and central Arctic, stopping throughout his journey to paint some of Canada’s most unpopulated regions. Among some of his destinations were Quttinirpaaq National Park, Clyde River, Pangnirtung, Bathhurst Inlet and Wilberforce Falls, a 197-foot waterfall, in Nunavut.
The artist completed 30 paintings on his adventure, bringing his total to 50 canvases dedicated to our nation’s north.
In 2006, when filming the first Into the Arctic project, the artist took a family trip with his wife and two daughters exploring the western region and beginning his collection.
“I wanted to be able to put something together that is unlike anything that has been done before,” Trépanier said.
While completing his second documentary, the Caledon native left his family at home in fear of the possible dangers ahead of him on the three month adventure.
Throughout the trip, Trépanier faced icy river crossings, slept with a shotgun in case of a polar bear attack, and at times, had to paint with thousands of mosquitoes buzzing around his head. The biggest challenge though, Trépanier said, was finding the perfect view to paint such a vast landscape.
“The hardest part was just when you get there and saying, ‘Boy, this is so huge.’ Especially when you’re flying over it, it seems like endless mountains and glaciers,” he reminisced. “Trying to get around you feel like an ant. You feel so tiny and it’s very humbling in a good way. Just getting around and trying to see different perspectives and physically moving around is really hard.”
It wasn’t a bad problem to have, he said, adding the experience of painting glaciers from a small canoe or capturing mountains and waterfalls most people don’t even know exists, beats working in the studio any day.
“It’s those types of moments that make it all worthwhile that I would I miss if I took a picture and moved on,” he said. “If I just go for it, things might unfold and it’s such a big difference between that and taking pictures back to a studio and working with pictures.”
On Dec. 2, Trépanier will be at the Hyland Cinema on Wharncliffe Road South, showcasing his latest film and giving people a chance to ask him questions about his adventure.
“It’s a way of showing the incredible north from my own experiences. As an artist travelling with other people on a big screen, so they can get a better sense of what it’s like up there,” Trépanier said.
Tickets to the Forest City show are $20, with $5 from each ticket sold being donated to The Arts Project, a local group that promotes artists in the London area.
“I guess I see my role as an artist as being one that is to help people appreciate these places and their beauty,” Trépanier said. “I know when people love things they care for them, so maybe in some small way I can help them love and appreciate these places a little bit more.”
To buy tickets for the event or watch the trailer, visit www.intothearcticfilm.com